Best Waterfalls Near North Bend Overview
As you might expect, there are many great waterfalls to see near North Bend. This is due to its geography on the west side of the Cascade Mountains in Washington State. There’s an ample supply of rain, snow, water, rivers, and mountains which produce waterfalls. Plus, it’s only a short distance from the Pacific Crest to North Bend. Some are accessible via automobile while others require a hike. Here is North Bend Escapes’ take on the best waterfalls near North Bend. I’m sure that as we discover more, some items on the best waterfalls near North Bend list will evolve over time. Click on the links to find more information below.
Snoqualmie Falls is a great sight to see in nearby Snoqualmie and it doesn’t take that much time. You can either park and walk straight up to the falls or take a half-mile hike down to the lower viewpoint. I’d definitely recommend taking the hike down since the view is that much more stunning! You can also see the power plants that the falls generate power through on your hike down to the lower viewpoint.
About 5 miles from North Bend on Highway 202 west to Snoqualmie.
Twin Falls is a waterfall on the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River in the Olallie State Park. It features a well-hidden hydroelectric project that generates 24 megawatts of electricity. The powerhouse of the falls is located 325 feet below ground. It is a short hike to the Twin Falls and you can go down to the water when you arrive.
About 3 miles east of North Bend off I-90 Exit 34.
Franklin Falls is another waterfall on the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River. It is the first of three major waterfalls on the South Fork Snoqualmie River. It is located near the Snoqualmie Pass between the north and south lanes of I-90. The falls are just east of exit 47. The hike to the falls is relatively short and the creek water is crystal clear.
About 15 miles east of North Bend off I-90 Exit 47.
Great hike to the Teneriffe Falls, but it is crowded on weekends. It is highly recommended to go early in the morning to avoid loads of hikers on the path. The waterfall is really magnificent at the top and it is a relatively quick trip. Remember to wear hiking shoes or boots since the trail is rocky at times.
About 3 miles north east of North Bend off I-90 Exit 32 near Mount Si.
Another waterfall on the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River, Weeks Falls is located just south of I90 at exit 38. The falls are at the end of the road that goes past the Olallie State Park headquarters for rangers. There is a 0.7 hike to the falls which is moderately easy and you’ll be able to see the falls quickly.
About 7 miles east of North Bend off I-90 Exit 38 in Olallie State Park.
Follow the Denny Creek trail for a 3.8 mile out and back trail to the Keekwulee Falls. The trail is moderate and is used for hiking and running. Lots of rivers and waterfalls are visible on the hike to the main falls. The falls are best viewed in the afternoon when the sun is shining on them. There are no safe routes to the base of the lower falls but there is an easy descent to the upper falls and the pool just below them.
About 15 miles east of North Bend off I-90 Exit 47. Hike in about 2 miles along the Denny Creek Trail.
Otter and Big Creek Falls
Follow the Taylor River Trail for a 10 mile out and back trail to Otter and Big Creek Falls. The trail is moderate and is used for hiking, running, and some mountain biking. A very shady hike in the woods with lots of rivers, creeks, and waterfalls. Great for dogs and you will see lots of them. Best in spring for the most water in the falls though summer is nicer for a dip in the pools! Otter Falls is a 1200 ft drop though you can only see the last 500 feet of it.
About 17 miles east of North Bend off I-90 Exit 34 and proceeding up the Middle Fork Road. Hike or bike in 4-5 miles along the Taylor River Trail.
Dingford Creek Falls
Approximately 100 feet of waterfall can be seen from the road pounding down among large boulders and potholes carved in the granite bedrock. The portion of the falls visible from the bridge is split between a back-to-back 25 and 50 foot horsetailing falls about 350 feet upstream, and a 20-foot cascade immediately above the bridge. However the creek in actuality drops around 600 feet in total over a run of about 2,300 linear feet, in a long chain of pothole plunges and cascades, one right after another.
About 23 miles east of North Bend off I-90 Exit 34 and proceeding up the Middle Fork Road (Forest Road 56). The last 6 miles is a dirt road full of potholes and difficult to drive. You have the option to park at the Middle Fork Trailhead and bike the remainder of the way. If you drive, it’s only a few hundred yards to the falls.
Upper Cedar Falls (or Cedar Falls)
Cedar Falls is the only waterfall accessible to the public within the closed Cedar River Watershed. Since the Cedar River Watershed is closed to the general public, to see this falls, you need to sign up for one of the tours at the Cedar River Watershed Education Center at Rattlesnake Lake. The 1-hour waterfall only tours run about 8-10 times a year, and 3-hour long tours of the watershed are run from mid July through the end of August. The Falls are most impressive before mid-summer, as much of the Cedar River is drawn off for both hydroelectric generation and for drinking water for Seattle.
About 6 miles southeast of North Bend off I-90 Exit 32. Go south up to Rattlesnake Lake and the Cedar River Watershed Education Center.
Coal Creek Falls
Take I-90 Exit 13, head south up the hill 2.8 miles along Lakemont Blvd which turns into Newcastle-Coal Creek Rd. The trailhead is on the left (east) side of the road along a sharp bend in the road with a large blue King County sign at the entrance. About 20 miles west of North Bend.
We included this waterfall even though it’s 236 miles and a 4 hour drive each way from North Bend. It’s Washington’s state waterfall and is an artist’s dream. The Palouse River drops 200 feet over the falls to a winding gorge of basalt and into the Snake River. This is one of the last active waterfalls on the Ice Age floods path.
When you see the falls, it will be like nothing else in the state. In the midst of the grassy plains is the river and waterfall. The scenery alone over to the park is well worth the visit to the falls and it’s well worth the long drive from North Bend.
Not recommended to go on weekends or holidays, especially in summer as there will be long waits and lines. There is no cell phone service. The Falls are most spectacular in Spring.
With Mount Rainier in the background, the 72 foot Mytrle Falls are worthy of the trip. Expect to see multiple photographers out at the Myrtle Falls getting a picture of the falls. The setting of the falls is one of the most photographed area of Mount Rainier National Park. Myrtle Falls drops down a deep gorge carved out by Edith Creek on its journey to Paradise Valley.
On the south side of Mt Rainier, about 100-110 miles south of North Bend. This is a great stop on a day trip to Mt Rainier.
Comet Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in Mount Rainier National Park. It was named Comet Falls since it resembles the tail of a comet For 1.8 miles, the trail leading to the falls climbs steadily uphill. It then switchbacks for 0.8 miles from there to the junction with Rampant Ridge Trail. Van Trump Park is to the right through the meadows until the trail ends in 0.5 miles. So it’s about a 6 mile roundtrip hike.
On the south side of Mt Rainier, about 100-110 miles south of North Bend. This is a great thing to do if you want some moderate hiking as part of your day trip to Mt Rainier.